12 Home Organization Tips We Learned from the Professionals

Organization clothes into bins Tips We Learned from the Professionals

Many of us have organization on the brain lately. Whether quarantine has you feeling the urge to clean and declutter, or you’ve binged one too many episodes of “The Home Edit,” you’re not alone.

We’re right there with you, and we’ve rounded up the top 12 organization tips from all your favorite organizational pros.

Want to get your home in tip-top organizational shape? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take stock of your space.

What areas aren’t being used well? Are there cabinets or areas underneath beds that are empty? Where do you have space, and what space could be used better? Understanding this is critical before you can overhaul your home’s organizational systems. 

2. Let color drive you.

Color is its own built-in organizing system. Use color to organize:

  • Cans
  • Clothes in a closet
  • Toys
  • Books on a bookshelf

It’s easy enough to do, and it will make finding what you need infinitely faster (especially once you’ve made it a habit.)

3. If it doesn’t mean something, you probably don’t need it.

Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” mantra is what we’re talking about here. If you’re decluttering your house and find countless items you haven’t touched, used, or even remember buying, you can probably donate or toss them.

Your home is your safe haven. Reserve it for things that matter.

4. Start from scratch.

Trying to “fix” a cluttered closet or cabinet isn’t the best approach. If you really want it organized effectively, empty the entire thing out first. Start from square one, take a look at what you’re working with, and build from there. 

5. Fold and roll.

The fold-and-roll method is huge with pro organizers. Just fold the shirt, towel, or clothing item like you normally would, then roll it lengthwise into a small tube.

This compact method lets you store more items in less space, and it also makes it easier to find items when you’re looking for them.

6. Shelves alone aren’t enough.

Lots of shelves in the closet or pantry aren’t enough to stay organized. You also need individual storage options within that — meaning bins, baskets, or canisters (labeled, of course).

The same goes for drawers. Use trays, clear bins, and other types of dividers to keep them organized and effective.

7. A good system helps everyone.

Organizing your house doesn’t just make it look good. It also makes living in your home significantly easier for everyone involved. Your kids can more easily find their toys (instead of nagging mom and dad for help), working in the kitchen is more efficient and effective, and end-of-day clean-ups are simpler, too.

Everything has its place, and there’s no fighting or questioning.

8. Think up and down, not just left and right.

Always think of your space in terms of the bigger picture. A shelf might look like a simple board that goes from left to right, but there’s also tons of space from the bottom of the shelf to the top of the ceiling (or next shelf), too.

Think of ways to maximize this space with stackable boxes or bins, or even mini shelves within that.

9. Aim for symmetry.

You want furnishings, art, and decor to feel symmetrical and even across a space. On a smaller scale, the same goes for items on a shelf or on display (like books, for example).

Focus on the weight and height of what you’re putting on that shelf, and make sure it feels evenly distributed.

10. Your door is valuable real estate.

Your doors don’t just open up to space; they are space. Use them to hang linen and shoe racks, add magnetic strips to keep your makeup brushes or utensils organized, or even put hanging shelves there to keep your spices organized. 

11. Hang what can be hung.

There’s no reason to cramp up drawers and cabinets with things that have built-in hooks and hangers. That means pots, utensils, and other cookware can all be easily hung on hanging racks or hooks, and umbrellas, brooms, coats, and jackets are the same. You’ll free up endless real estate this way.

12. Go by category, not by room.

Organizing room by room might seem like the logical approach, but if you focus on categories, you’ll probably have an easier time of it. Start with all your clothes, for example, or maybe your beauty items. Determine the best way to organize and store those, and then move onto the next batch of items.

Maybe toys or games?

Your spices and baking items?

Tackle one chunk at a time to maximize your impact.

Paying for that organizational overhaul

Getting your home organized? Need funds to make it happen?

A cash-out refinance may be able to help. Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans representative today. They’ll walk you through your financial options. 

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.